A Test For Depression Can Reveal Underlying Causes
Is there a test for depression? Tests can be performed on some of the symptoms of depression, but as of now, there is not a specific test that can be performed to determine whether or not you do. There are blood tests that can be performed to check hormonal levels, and other aspects that can cause the same symptoms and feelings of depression. Research is however being done, and hopefully in the near future there will be a comprehensive depression test.
Here are some of the routine blood tests that are now being performed to indicate underlying problems that cause symptoms of depression. One of these is a CBC test, or Complete Blood Count. This test checks the numbers of different types of blood cells. It looks for infections of the blood system, and anemia, both which can be causing similar symptoms, like chronic fatigue, and lethargy.
Abnormalities in the thyroid can also cause depression like symptoms. You may be feeling run down, or gaining weight despite eating right and getting regular exercise. This hormonal imbalance can also cause depression like symptoms. If you have hypothyroidism you may always feel run down due to a very slow metabolism. If you have an overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism you may be feeling the opposite. This may seem like it is a blessing in disguise, but the symptoms are very similar to those that are manic/depressed due to the fact that there are high periods experienced when the metabolism is running fast, followed by low periods when the metabolism has burnt up all the energy and is running sluggish and slow. Again, a simple blood test can determine if you have a thyroid problem.
There is a wide variety of tests that can be performed to determine whether or not there is an underlying cause to the way you are feeling. Some tests can take a look at the functioning of your kidneys and your liver. When either of these organs are not working properly they can also cause many of the same symptoms associated with depression. If you have elevated blood glucose or cholesterol these are also factors that can influence the way you are feeling.
Another cause of the symptoms of depression are low levels of important vitamins and minerals in your body. Magnesium, Calcium, the B complex vitamins, as well as folic acid need to be a big part of your body, and not having enough can make you feel run down, lethargic, and not wanting to do every day routines.
There are some diseases that can cause symptoms of depression that you wouldn’t even consider. Lyme disease, caused by the bite of the common deer tick, can cause some of these same symptoms. You may get bitten by one during the Summer, not notice it in the first stages, and by the time Winter starts, you’re feeling lethargic, run down, and have chronic pain, all the signs of depression, but what actually is is the second and third stages of Lyme disease.
There are also a great number of excellent resources online that can help you determine if you are depressed. There are checklists that you can find and go through that will help you determine if what you are experience is chronic and what you can do about those chronic issues.
You must remember that people feel down and out occasionally throughout their lives. Some feel a little depressed during the Winter, because they are cramped up inside their homes, and don’t get enough sun. Other times, external forces can cause depression symptoms, too much stress at work, a death in the family, or even divorce. The difference is, that over a period of time, these feelings start to change and go away. The sun comes back in the Spring, and you are able to shed those heavy clothes, go outside again, and get back to the things you like to do.
When those down and out feelings do not go away or they get worse, or you contemplate ending your life it is time to seek professional help. The National Institute of Mental Health put out a report in 2005 that stated that depression affects almost 19 million American adults, that is 10% of the population over the age of 18. This does not take into consideration the number of people that do not say anything about their depression or people under the age of 18. It is important to note that depression often starts at an early age, in particular in the preteen and adolescent years.